Home » Tractor Supply Co. Is Sneakily A Great Place For Car Enthusiasts

Tractor Supply Co. Is Sneakily A Great Place For Car Enthusiasts

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If you live in a city or a reasonably-sized suburb, you’re probably sleeping on Tractor Supply Company. The retailer may be known for its gardening supplies, equine feed, and other more agricultural items, but the stores also feature a well-stocked automotive section with some hard-to-beat prices. A place where you can get Purina Goat Chow feed and cheap motor oil? Where do I sign?

This came up this week because my daughter has decided that, given her allergies to anything with fur, she wants a tortoise. Specifically, she wants a Russian tortoise. It’s a fairly cute animal that likes a drier environment of the kind I think we can provide, but it also requires a huge amount of space (approximately 6-8 square feet to walk around). My idea, informed by various forum posts, was to get a metal or Rubbermaid stock tank, fill it with a layer of sand and peat moss topped by animal-friendly mulch, and make that my tortoise enclosure.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

If you’re not aware, a stock tank is a big tank used primarily to provide water for livestock, though they have a nice secondary use as a home for baby chicks or turtles:

Tsc Stock Tank

Because I live within a short jog from the border of New York City, there are no Tractor Supply Co.’s nearby, which meant that I needed to schlep about an hour upstate. I mentioned to David I was going to be taking a couple of hours to complete this task and he pointed out that Tractor Supply had cheap oil and other affordable automotive stuff.

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It’s been a while since I’ve gone into one of the company’s stores, so I figured I’d check out the automotive section in between trying to figure out what kind of stock tanks might fit into my apartment/my Subaru.

Trailer Couplers

Tractor Supply knows its customers, so it is definitely a little more truck-centric than your average auto supply store. Do you need a trailer coupler? You’ll definitely be able to find whatever you need here for towing, including an assortment of actual trailers. Do you have an ATV or a riding lawnmower you want to put in the bed of your Ram? You’ll also be well served here.

Tsc Rams

Tractor Supply Co’s in-house brand for automotive stuff is Traveller and there are some fairly decent-looking winches:

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Traveler Winch

Those are specifically for ATV/UTV applications, but there are also ones for trucks, as well as other off-road support gear like tow/recovery straps and LED light bars:

Light Bars

And, of course, if you’re a big truck owner you might have a diesel, in which case you probably need a lot of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF):

Def

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That’s a really good price. Two-and-a-half gallons of NAPA-branded DEF is $16.99 online! This is nearly half the price. In my experience, most DEF in stores is between $11-13 if you’re a shopper who pays attention, so this is a great price. There are a bunch of other truck accessories like toolboxes and tie-downs.

But what if you don’t have a truck? Most of us will need a battery for our car at some point:

Traveller Battery

The prices were decent and the warranties seemed on par with everyone else. I didn’t notice every single size available in the story, so if you have a specific vehicle they may not have exactly what you need, but what was there seemed to cover the most popular sizes.

The Really Good Stuff

Tsc Mobil 1

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Awww yeah. With my E39 over 236,000 miles when I checked this morning, I need to top him off with a little oil from time to time. And by “from time to time” I mean every other time I get a full tank of fuel. Clive takes premium so I’m already spending a decent amount of money keeping him going, so I’m always looking for ways to save money.

Tractor Supply has, in stock, exactly the oil I use in my BMW (Mobile 1 High Mileage 5W-30) in both 1- and 5-quart sizes. The single quart (what I usually get for ease of keeping track how much I’m putting in) was only $8.99, which is a couple of bucks cheaper than what I usually see at AutoZone or other parts starts. That’s real money.

If you’re more adventurous, there’s also Traveller-brand motor oil and the venerable Bob Is The Oil Guy forum seems to think the stuff is fine for your average store-brand oil. If they’re cool with it then I’m cool with it.

At the end of the day, I was able to grab some cheap oil, a giant livestock tank, some play sand, some peat moss, and a few random containers all for a low cost. The stock tank even fit in the back of the Subaru Forester.

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Of course, after all of that work, it turns out my wife extremely dislikes the setup (seen here in progress). So back to TSC I’ll go this weekend to return the tank and get the metal one she said would work better.

More cheap oil!

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Gary Lynch
Gary Lynch
29 days ago

Probably 99% of their inventory is made in China.

Definitely a great place when needing nuts, bolts and the like for a household project.

Scott Ross
Scott Ross
29 days ago

They’re solid little stores but I think of them as more secret pet supply stores. I get my cat litter and food from them. Plus they do dog grooming

Bassracerx
Bassracerx
29 days ago
Reply to  Scott Ross

I got my XXL dog crate from Tractor supply. under $100

Tom T
Tom T
29 days ago

Princess Auto in Canada is a similar place. Stuff for livestock, tools, trailer axles, trailer wheels, trailer everything, electric livestock fencing, welders, jacks, specialty auto tools (pullers, separators, etc), transfer pumps, fuel pumps. never ending.

Myk El
Myk El
29 days ago

We got a TSC near me, which seems a little late as I’m at the border between the suburbs and horse/ranchland. It’s now my go-to for dog food. Plus they carry blue raspberry vine candy.

MiniDave
MiniDave
29 days ago

Wall Mart often has the 5 quart containers of Mobil One for about $25……$5 a quart. I’ve even seen and bought it as low as $22/5 quart there…..just FYI

Twobox Designgineer
Twobox Designgineer
29 days ago
Reply to  MiniDave

I just checked — BJ’s has several varieties of Mobil 1 5W-30. The variety that Matt uses, High Mileage, is just a bit higher than that, at 6 qt./$32 in 1-qt containers

George Wilson
George Wilson
29 days ago

You don’t have to go upstate… there’s one out here in Suffolk County on Long Island on Rt 112. I went there once when they first opened a few years ago… I think I should go back. I don’t remember this much automotive stuff but it could be because they were just getting that location rolling.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
29 days ago
Reply to  George Wilson

God I’ve got to imagine it’s easier for him to drive up to Putnam Co. than it is to drive out to…oh God, Medford? It’ll take him forever to get out there, even on a weekend. Not to mention the cost of the Throgs Neck.

George Wilson
George Wilson
29 days ago

Medford indeed… I didn’t realize he was on the other side of the bridge already. Haha whenever someone says they’re a stone’s throw from the city I assume Brooklyn or Queens.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
29 days ago
Reply to  George Wilson

Oh yes, if on island, stay on island.

SoCoFoMoCo
SoCoFoMoCo
29 days ago

One of the best things about TSC for gearheads is the hardware section. They usually have a large assortment of grade-8 hardware—way more than you’ll find at the big-box hardware stores or most auto part stores. They also sell it by the pound at pretty amazing prices. Pay less, and no counting bits of hardware. Just grab a couple handfuls, throw it in the bag, and go!

G S
G S
29 days ago

TSC is just about my favorite store. I take the pups in to get kibbles and they get treated like celebrities, they have automatic rewards that are tracked at the register and applied by the cashier, good winter gear, and obviously all kinds of stuff to manage your property.

David Lorengo
David Lorengo
29 days ago

Where’s the tortoise pics?

LarsVargas
LarsVargas
29 days ago
Reply to  David Lorengo

They’re coming along. Slowly.

Dumb Shadetree
Dumb Shadetree
29 days ago

You’re giving away my secret! I’ve been feeding my cars house-brand oil from farm supply stores for a long time. I figure the house-brand synthetic comes from /some/ major brand, because there’s no way a small local chain of farm supply stores makes their own synthetic oil. It’s also a great place to buy car batteries, small kitchen appliances, etc.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
29 days ago

What is “Diesel Exhaust Fluid”?
Does Diesel itself not make enough exhaust that we need some kind of fluid to make more?
Is this on the same aisle as Blinker Fluid?

$9 for motor oil doesn’t seem like such a great deal when I get Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic 5W-30 Motor Oil from Amazon for $6.36 delivered every few months via Subscribe and Save.

Dumb Shadetree
Dumb Shadetree
29 days ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

Just in case you are serious, diesel exhaust fluid (or DEF) is urea. Modern diesels inject it into the exhaust, where some chemical reaction causes it to significantly reduce the harmful emissions in the exhaust. Think of it like a catalytic converter for diesel trucks, except instead of a platinum screen it consumes concentrated piss.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
29 days ago
Reply to  Dumb Shadetree

Oh – So it’s the generic for “AdBlue”!

Dumb Shadetree
Dumb Shadetree
29 days ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

Yep!

Bassracerx
Bassracerx
29 days ago
Reply to  Dumb Shadetree

lol it’s funny that you know what DEF was not what DEF was called. isn’t language fun!

Lizardman in a human suit
Lizardman in a human suit
29 days ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

It is a fluid that is used after the particulate filter that neutralizes NoX emissions. Or that is supposedly its purpose. All I know is that system costs $10 to $20 grand a year in fluid and repairs.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
29 days ago

…unless you own a VW TDI.

Oh – Wait….

MrJoop
MrJoop
29 days ago

The good thing about the Rubbermaid stock tank is the lifetime guarantee. You can roll up to TSC with a cracked one and roll out with a new one. Not that they’re easy to break…we had a Belgian mare that liked to wash her feet in it!

DB Cooper
DB Cooper
29 days ago

Now that I moved out of Menards land, TSC is nice. They have them in smaller towns and are quite handy. One thing we found is for our cat litter. We get the pine pellets which are $20-24 for a 40 lb bag at Petsmart, but these bags of the same stuff are $7.50 or so at TSC.

Dumb Shadetree
Dumb Shadetree
29 days ago
Reply to  DB Cooper

Yeah it’s definitely location-dependent. I’ve only been in a TSC while traveling, but I used to shop at Farm King and later Farm & Fleet. Now I’m in Menards land, but I still miss Farm King.

Jonathan Green
Jonathan Green
29 days ago

Harbor Freight – Bed Bath and Beyond for Boys
Menards – Date night Harbor Freight
TSC – I’ve only been there once, but they had cowboy hats.

Stryker_T
Stryker_T
29 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan Green

my dad absolutely loves harbor freight, and will not shut up about getting something there.

Jonathan Green
Jonathan Green
29 days ago
Reply to  Stryker_T

Your dad is right.

Stryker_T
Stryker_T
29 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan Green

of course he is

TXJeepGuy
TXJeepGuy
29 days ago

Their house brand “Farm Jack” is basically a Hi-Lift jack without the brand name, and usually about $50 cheaper. I had one for a long time, only downside is it doesn’t quite fit with some of the Hi-lift branded mounts out there.

Frank Wrench
Frank Wrench
29 days ago

Prefer to hit our locally owned farm store. How can you beat a name like Klem’s?

https://www.klemsonline.com/

Matt Huber
Matt Huber
29 days ago

Those of us from the rural parts of the country have known this for years. Affordable tools of good quality, good prices on oil and chemicals, pet friendly (I take my husky with me regularly), so on and so forth. TSC is honestly one of my favorite stores.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
29 days ago

I have Farm ‘n Fleet for this stuff. Kind of like TS but a lot bigger. During the Christmas season, they have a HUGE selection of “farm toys”.

Anxious John
Anxious John
29 days ago

Another kind of sleeper store, if you don’t feel like going to a big box like Walmart, is Rural King.

Timbales
Timbales
29 days ago

I went to my local TSC to by some cayenne-coated birdseed and saw they had a large sign “Lawfully Concealed Carry Permitted On These Premises” and thought, “You really need to pack heat to buy some dog food, Chet?”

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
29 days ago
Reply to  Timbales

Some people feel really insecure without their gun. Nobody really needs to but it makes them feel safer.
TSC knows its clientele.

Duane Cannon
Duane Cannon
29 days ago

That’s the only stage we don’t eat chickens. Or, just for fun tell your kids that’s where McNuggets come from.

Random Shots
Random Shots
29 days ago

Matt,

Couple of things to point out:

  1. That is not correct oil for your E39. The ones shown in your picture do not meet the BMW LL-01 spec required for your car or any of the european equivalents. TBH, given how much oil you are losing I guess it does not really matter since you are not getting to 10,000 miles with the oil going in.
  2. If you are going to use that oil, then you can get the equivalent SuperTech oil from Walmart for $4.99. Sure, TSC is cheaper than the auto store but no where near cheap.
  3. The car batteries shown in the article are expensive compared to Walmart once again. You can get a 3 year full replacement non AGM battery for $160 or 4 year full replacement AGM battery for $180.
  4. The DEF shown is the same price as Walmart.

I know some people will not support Walmart, and I totally get it, but having a hard time agreeing with the title to this article.

Rabob Rabob
Rabob Rabob
29 days ago
Reply to  Random Shots

My Walmart puts everything automotive behind plexiglass and doesn’t staff enough people to help you get anything. Took me over an hour to get a battery last time and they didn’t even have Supertech 0W20. I go to Costco for the Kirland now- pretty sure it’s the same stuff, it’s the rebranded Warren oil last time I checked the bottle.

Anxious John
Anxious John
29 days ago
Reply to  Rabob Rabob

Cool or boring story from me is that I used to work IT at a Warren building. Kind of funny to see all the different brands coming out of the same container of oil.

Adam Al-Asmar
Adam Al-Asmar
29 days ago
Reply to  Anxious John

i think this warrants a deeper discussion- im a QE at a well known auto parts retailer (USA) and within our Quality department we always like to debate the merits of one oil brand to another. How many different brands does Warren fill for?

Dingus
Dingus
29 days ago
Reply to  Adam Al-Asmar

BITOG is your friend. Some SERIOUS oil and chemistry nerds hang out there. Pretty soon you’ll be sending your oil to blackstone and talking about how you were able to bump your OCIs 5% and saved $8.43 per change.

Rabob Rabob
Rabob Rabob
29 days ago
Reply to  Dingus

I went there once and all the interesting stuff was drowned out by the Scamsoil salesmen and “ah change muh oil every 3000 miles with Valvoline since 1976 and never do nuthin different” people.

Anxious John
Anxious John
29 days ago
Reply to  Adam Al-Asmar

That was over 10 years ago at this point so I’m a little fuzzy. Only two names I can seem to possibly remember were Castrol and Peak. Don’t quote me on that.

SoCoFoMoCo
SoCoFoMoCo
29 days ago
Reply to  Adam Al-Asmar

Back in the day when I worked at Jiffy Lube, the Pennzoil rep told me the brand is basically meaningless.

The base stock—or the oil before the additive packages are put in—is all made by the same couple of refiners. The additive package requirements are regulated by API and determined by grade, so the difference there is nominal as well. Of course, there are specialty oils like high-zinc or diesel that only some brands sell, but that’s beside the point.

Most of the difference in oil brands is marketing, what’s in the bottle (or bulk oil container) is pretty much the same.

DysLexus
DysLexus
29 days ago
Reply to  Anxious John

Reminds me of one of my favorite episodes of the Simpsons when Homer was visiting the Duff Brewery and the 3 spigots for Duff, Duff light, and Duff Bold all came from the same pipe. Hehe

pizzaman09
pizzaman09
29 days ago
Reply to  Random Shots

I am totally good on Walmart branded things, but Supertec oil is the one thing I avoid. It’s the only oil I’ve used that was noticably not good compared to any oil. I put some in my Oldsmobile (GM 3800 series 2) and it used a quart of oil in 1/3 of the time it typically does and was jet black very quickly. I switched back a random name brand and the normal oil consumption rate and color change returned.

Matt Huber
Matt Huber
29 days ago
Reply to  pizzaman09

I’ve run Supertec for years. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s in my 200,000 mile GMC pickup right now. Color is NOT a good indicator of oil condition.

Rabob Rabob
Rabob Rabob
29 days ago
Reply to  pizzaman09

I’ve watched a few Youtube videos of guys that send Supertech for a Blackstone oil analysis and various DIY tests and the verdict is always “it’s fine”

Ben
Ben
29 days ago
Reply to  pizzaman09

and was jet black very quickly.

That probably means the detergents were cleaning off all the deposits left behind by your old oil.

MiniDave
MiniDave
29 days ago
Reply to  Random Shots

I thought you only needed the LL (long life) specification if you were going to run your oil changes out to the 15K mile range, otherwise for people who change their oil more frequently the regular life oil is fine?

Ophidia
Ophidia
1 month ago

If your Russian tortoise isn’t a baby, it’s wild caught, and will be loaded with parasites. Please take it to the vet to get it checked and get it deparasitized. If you don’t, there’s a really good chance it won’t thrive. Take it from someone with lots of reptile experience who was in industry for a long time.

That being said, good choice on a very hardy, easy species! It will learn to know all of you and be quite personable. And your daughter will probably have it for the rest of her life!

Parsko
Parsko
29 days ago
Reply to  Ophidia

And your daughter will probably have it for the rest of her life!

A choice I would never make for my kid!!!!

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
29 days ago
Reply to  Parsko

They live for like 50 years. That’s quite a commitment.

Parsko
Parsko
29 days ago

Other than my own life, I can’t commit that long to anything, full stop (sorry honey)

MarionCobretti
MarionCobretti
1 month ago

Okay, Imma let you finish, but the real place for cheap batteries is Rural King.

Random Shots
Random Shots
29 days ago
Reply to  MarionCobretti

I found EconoPower (refurbished Interstate) batteries to be a great value if you have an Interstate distributor in your area. One sells them for $65 with a 3 month full replacement warranty and the other sells them for $99 with a one year full replacement warranty.

lastwraith
lastwraith
28 days ago
Reply to  MarionCobretti

The closest Rural King is over 4 hrs away from us here in lower NY, so probably not a convenient option for Matt.
But, I guess, good to know.

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